During your first year as a teacher, you will come across many different kinds of misbehaviour. But the one thing that shouldn’t change, is the school behaviour policy.

When you begin working in a new school, it’s important to understand the school’s policy on behaviour so that you can confidently discipline your class without any reluctancy.

In the classroom, sometimes what you class to be a low form of misbehaviour could quickly escalate in to a full blown incident. This can be daunting, but as long as you understand the policy in place, you can control most situations.

Before you even step foot in the classroom, read and understand the school’s behaviour policy, and let this steer your decisions. Knowing the rules before you meet your class eliminates ambiguity, for both you and your students. If they understand that you are fully aware of the consequences based on their actions, they know exactly what will happen to them if they continue to misbehave.

“How to Survive your First Year in Teaching”, a bestselling book by Sue Cowley mentions that you should always look in detail at the school policy and make sure you can answer the following questions before your lesson:

– What are the key school rules?

– What sanctions are available for me to use?

– Is there a graduated series of steps before I actually give a sanction?

– What sanctions does each type of misbehaviour ‘earn’?

– What do I do if a student fails to serve a sanction?

– How do I pass on information about student behaviour to senior staff?

– What rewards are available for me to use?

– What is the procedure for contacting parents about behaviour (good or bad)?

– What paperwork do I need to fill out after an incident?

– In what circumstances can I send a student out of the room?

– What should I do in a crisis?

Once you have the answer to the questions above, you’ll be fully equipped to manage behaviour in the classroom at your new school.

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